Updated: Jan 16
Congratulations on your recent engagement! It is now time to start planning your wedding.
For many people, the wedding planning process can be quite stressful especially if you are both working full time. More and more couples are choosing to hire a wedding planner but not all couples can afford or want to spend the money on Full Wedding Coordination. Sometimes you just need the help to get all the finer details organized. That is where your Month/Day-of Coordinator comes in. The only issue is that you are now tasked with finding a venue yourself. Venue hunting can be a daunting task. Below are some ideas and questions to ask venues when you do your site visits to ensure you are getting the right information before making this important decision.
The first thing to start thinking about is what your guest list is going to look like. You don't need to know exact numbers right away, but it's good to have a rough idea of the range. This will help narrow down your venue search from the get-go. Second thing to do is to think about the date. Some couples may choose a date that is meaningful to them, some choose a date based on the season, and others just choose a random date based on availability. If you haven't decided on an exact date, at least know which month(s) you would like to get married before booking venue site visits. The third thing to do before starting your venue hunt is to come up with your wedding budget. The venue will be the largest part of your budget, as it is where you spend money on food and decor. When you envision your wedding day, ask yourself: What do you want see? What colours are standing out to you?, What type of decor do you see?, Rustic or modern? Once you have some answers to these questions, you are ready to start checking out venues.
Come up with a list of 5-7 venues that you think might fit your wedding. Don't book more than 3 site visits in the same day; anymore than that and you will feel overwhelmed as they will all start to blend together. Many clients bring a pen and notebook or make notes in their phone as they go along during their site visits.
You have now booked those venue site visits over the next few weekends. Great! Now, it is time to start prepping for those site visits. You want to go into these meetings already having checked out some pictures and reviews online. I recommend that you create a list of questions. Without that handy list of questions, you may forget to ask something that could be what makes or breaks your booking this venue. It is always better to ask the question in-person, especially if the answer involves describing something like where the head table would be or where the bridal suite is.
Below are the top 5 questions to ask your potential venues:
1. If you are planning for your ceremony to be outside, is there a rain plan? If the venue doesn't have a rain plan, you may look at other locations for your ceremony. The answer to this question will also help you decide if you should invest in or rent umbrellas for your special day.
2. Will there be a price increase if you book a venue more than a year in advance? Say you are looking at venues for 2020 and the menu you are being presented with is based on 2019 pricing, will there be a price increase for 2020? There are some venues that will honour the price you booked and some will put in the contract that you should expect a 3-5% increase for 2020.
3. When will you have access to the facility to start setting up? If they are a busy venue, chances are you won't have access until the morning of. Knowing when you can get into the venue will aid in creating your timeline for the day and know what to best plan for. Also, it is also important to know when you need to have all your personal items gone from the venue after your dream wedding - whether it is the evening of the wedding or the next morning. Your planner/decorator will need to know these details, as it could help determine their contracts; especially if they have more than one client that day.
4. Will there be other events or weddings taking place that day? There are many venues including banquet halls that can hold 2-4 weddings at a time. This is something to consider if you are wanting a private and intimate wedding.
5. Is there a different price if you were to get married on a Friday or Sunday versus a Saturday? If you love a venue but it is a little out of your budget, maybe a Friday or Sunday wedding works better for your numbers. Not all venues offer different pricing, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Most of all, remember to have fun with venue hunting and trust your instincts! If the venue does not feel right then chances are that is not the venue for you.
Events by Sarah Megan can help make planning and preparing for your wedding a breeze and let you enjoy this important moment in your life. With over 8 years in the event planning industry, we provide one-off consultation and support, full wedding planning, as well as month/day-of coordination. Check us out at Events by Sarah Megan or get social with us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!